Beulah meeting will voice concerns on EPA regulations
By Daniel Arens
Beulah has been selected as one of four communities in the state to host a North Dakota Department of Health meeting regarding the Clean Power Plan, providing a prime opportunity for Mercer County residents to speak out about the impact the plan will have on their communities.
The importance of many people showing up at the meeting, which will be held in the Beulah Civic Center at 7 p.m. on November 12, was emphasized by numerous community and county leaders.
“As many people need to be there and support our industries as possible,” Wayne Hoffner, The Union Bank, said. Mercer County Commission Chairman Gary Murray echoed these sentiments.
“I would hope that enough people can paint the picture of how important this industry is to the county, the state, and, really, the nation,” Murray said.
The Department of Health is putting together a state plan that will meet the guidelines specified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its Clean Power Plan. NDDoH officials are seeking input from North Dakotans on how this state plan should look, as well as providing further information for residents.
In its initial proposal for the Clean Power Plan, the EPA considered an 11 percent reduction in carbon emissions for the state of North Dakota. However, in the final plan the EPA approved, the 11 percent reduction was raised to a 45 percent reduction, an increase that North Dakota’s industry cannot meet within the specified timeframe without closing power plants.
When the EPA set its finalized plan, the agency allowed states to set their own individualized plans for carbon reduction, but the plan must still reach the target reductions set by the EPA. After a meeting with state officials and energy leaders, the EPA has allowed North Dakota three years to implement its own plan, although a rough draft is needed within the next year.